Audi has announced an extensive investment program for the next five years, with the VW-owned luxury carmaker planning to invest around €22 billion ($30.3 billion) between 2014 and 2018 in new models, innovations and the expansion of its global production network.
Audi says 70 percent of the investments will go into new models and technologies, with the Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm sites to receive more than half of the planned investment.
“We had set the goal of 1.5 million deliveries per year by 2015, but we already achieved that quite comfortably in 2013. We are now decisively steering towards our next milestone of two million deliveries. This is why we are keeping our foot on the gas regarding investments and why we are hiring new employees in 2014,” said Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management at Audi AG.
To achieve its goal of two million deliveries per year, Audi wants to expand its product range from the current 49 models to 60 different models by 2020. The carmaker confirmed that it will launch the third generation of the TT Coupé in 2014, along with the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron and A3 Sportback g-tron. Audi also confirmed it will build the new Q1 in Ingolstadt from 2016.
To accomplish these expansion plans, Audi will start hiring new employees globally in 2014, with 700 young people to begin training in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm next year. The company will also build its first plant in North America in the Mexican city of San José Chiapa, where the Audi Q5 is scheduled to roll off the production line starting in 2016. More than 1,000 new jobs will be created there in 2014 alone.
In 2015, Audi will begin producing again in Brazil, with the São José dos Pinhais plant to build the A3 Sedan and Q3. The carmaker’s second plant in China (Foshan) is about to begin production, while investments at the Hungarian site in Győr are continuing.
By Dan Mihalascu